This week I did some volunteer time in my daughter’s classroom. Naturally I was about 3 minutes late. When I walked in the door of the classroom I saw that our topic was politics. I cringed. My daughter is an innocent 8yr old who I kept this election from. As an adult I often felt as if even I should not have witnessed the things I did during this election and now I am expected to help with this lesson. Why oh why are we doing this? Millions of things raced through my mind. I wanted to grab my daughter by the hand and run.
Then it happened and I saw that none of the ugliness was going to be a part of this lesson and we were actually using this opportunity to show them what an election should be. Each child was asked to ‘run for President’ and build a platform. Now I was impressed.
There was no talk of why any other child should not be the President it was all about why individually they should ‘get your vote’ Now being that I was in a classroom full of 8 and 9 year olds I did not see some of their answers coming.
Our children are better people than we are. The answers coming from all these little people really did something for my soul.
I would protect our planet all of the Earth and the water. I would teach everyone how to garden so that no one would ever go without food. I would tell Americans that we all just need to be kind and care about each other. I would tell my fellow voters to vote for me so we can work together and build better communities.
These are just some of the answers our 3rd grade children were giving.
As they worked on the craft part of this project I got a chance to whisper chat with the teacher. I had been a bit worried about how we were going to make this transition with our children. Our kids have seen a lot more than we think they have over this last year and they for the most part know that we should be doing better. Well it looks like that’s where the focus will be. For now we just need to teach them to do better.
Obviously our children need to learn about Government, Constitution, Laws, etc. So now I will wait it out with the rest of our Country and see what the next POTUS and FLOTUS have to offer to our schools. I will also be waiting and looking forward to the year that those 3rd graders are old enough to run for President.
My daughter is a big mess maker. Some days it seems as if she is happiest surrounded by clutter. It drives me crazy. I have tried endless solutions to try to get her to contain her messes.
One of my biggest pet peeves is her homework, coloring, and after school mess.
My house could be spotless and two minutes after she arrives home from school she has pens, pencils, colored pencils, and markers everywhere.
I came up with the idea to try to make something cute that would appeal to her and help contain her mess.
As I went to toss out an empty Coffee Container it hit me. I could transform this at a very small cost.
So I cleaned out the Coffee Container. Grabbed some Clorox wipes and wiped it down. Then grabbed some of my summer spruce up go to Spray Paint and got busy.
After it dried I located a few cute Disney Stickers I had laying around and added them to the container.
The end result was very attractive to her eye. It matches the colors of her bedroom scheme and at the same time holds all her crafting clutter.
I will be saving more containers in the future as they become empty and making one for my son and using them for other clutter messes that get acquired in our household.
I’ve always been honest and open about my child’s struggles in life. We are not ashamed of them and we share our struggles openly. No child comes with a handbook but I do try to provide one for mine. I recently blogged about our Back to School Nightmare Well big surprise (note my sarcasm) the school is now having trouble handling my child. Although I tried my best to provide somewhat of a handbook for my son they rejected it and have now decided that I’m just simply ‘doing it wrong’ I have been feeling the pressure of being forced to be a parent that I don’t want to be. They are shoving unsolicited ‘suggestions’ in parenting down my throat. It’s actually not just them society itself feels the need to point out what they think I am doing wrong although its a known fact that my child has less struggles at home than anywhere else. If my son is having a bad day at school and simply “just wants to be at home and is missing home” they are suggesting that home is a candyland filled with no rules, no consequences, and that I just provide to much comfort, fun, and love.
The last few days I have been struggling emotionally as I question myself. Did I miss something along the way in my quest to be a not just a good parent but a great one? Isn’t it our goal as parents to give our children such a good home environment that that’s their favorite place to be. I understand that Disney claims the title of ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ but my kids have never been there and I was actually quite content in knowing that home is their happy place.
I gave in and tried this form of what I call socially expected parenting. I gave harsher consequences to my children’s actions. I stuck with them. I offered only the praise that was suggested. I set stricter rules. I became this stern no nonsense parent. I even spanked one time. I now feel traumatized from it. I hated every second of it. None of it felt right and it made our lives miserable. For three days home was not a happy place and I am emotionally exhausted. If this is how society expects me to parent I cant do it and I don’t want my kids to ever live like that.
Today I am taking our lives back. I am giving back the handbook that society gave me and going back to my own. I will not punish my child for something he did at school. I will encourage him to do the right thing while there and reward him when he does. I cant feel good about punishing him for something related to his disabilities while he is out of my care. I don’t expect school to enforce any punishment for things that happen at home. Home and school are two different places and both have different expectations. Sure the general ones are the same but our home is our sanctuary and I am not willing to give that up. I apologize if my child wants to be home. I have always taken that as a compliment in the past and don’t appreciate school making me question myself as if it were a bad thing.
Now some might say “I was raised that way and I turned out just fine” Well let me be the first to say I was raised that way and it took years of therapy for me to be ‘just fine’ If it makes me a bad parent and its socially unacceptable for me to use a Conscious Parenting form of parenting then so be it. My kids are happy and so am I. I would rather tell my child a thousand things I love about them in a day than focus on the one mistake they made in the day. I prefer to give them rewards instead of taking things away from them. I would rather do the fun project that we had planned instead of turning it into a punishment by not allowing we do it because a mistake was made 6 hours before. I would rather talk about the mistake that was made instead of dishing out a spanking.
Maybe the problem is in society and not with me? Maybe society is so stuck in the ‘nobody cares go harder’ to get the desired results mindset that they are missing the point entirely. Maybe I care and maybe just wanna go softer and reach the same destination but be happy along my road in getting there. At the end of the day I prefer to raise a happy conscious child than one who is more focused on being socially acceptable. Right now society is just not acceptable to me.